Whenever I read some of these studies I always wonder who funds them. The latest missive in this subject comes from Peter Robinson of Sheffield University in Sheffield, England:
British researchers say some powered toothbrushes are better at removing plaque and reducing the risk of gum disease than are ordinary manual toothbrushes.
Peter Robinson of Sheffield University in Sheffield, England, and his colleagues, made the discovery in a study that has been published in the April issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research.
The kind of powered toothbrushes that demonstrate superior performance are those with circular bristle heads that rotate in alternating directions.
Ok, but is that what they are really saying?
Next, read this take on the same story. this one from ABC News:
The circling motion unique to certain power toothbrushes is better at sweeping away dental plaque than the traditional ‘up-and-down’ technique used with manual brushes.
That’s according to a new review of 42 different studies, involving more than 3,800 participants, that found circle-motion electric toothbrushes outperformed simpler, hand-manipulated models.
The review’s British authors found that over one to three months, powered toothbrushes with circular heads that rotate in alternating directions reduced plaque 11 percent better than manual toothbrushes and reduced signs of gum inflammation (gingivitis) 6 percent better than manual toothbrushes.
After more than three months of use, the powered toothbrushes reduced gingivitis 17 percent better than manual toothbrushes. The researchers found no evidence that powered toothbrushes of any kind caused more gum damage than manual toothbrushes.
They stressed that even though the powered toothbrushes provided better results, the benefits of regular brushing “occur whether the brush is manual or powered, and the results of this review do not indicate that tooth brushing is only worthwhile with a powered toothbrush.”
“We did not want to say that electric brushes are necessary, just that they can help. It is possible to clean one’s teeth perfectly well without an electric brush,” review co-author Peter Robinson of Sheffield University said in a prepared statement.
Ionic brushes â€” which makers say reverse the polarity of teeth, improving cleaning â€” and powered toothbrushes that do not use a circular, alternating motion, were no better at removing plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes, the review concluded.
The review was published in the April issue of the journal The Cochrane Library
Now read the manual toothbrushes are just fine slant to the same story. This time the piece is from Canada’s globe and Mail:
Most electric toothbrushes are no better at cleaning your teeth than the old-fashioned manual ones.
That’s the conclusion of researchers at the University of Sheffield in England, after reviewing 42 trials of all sorts of toothbrushes.
In fact, the only type of electric toothbrush more effective than a traditional brush is one with a so-called “rotating-oscillating” head. (It has a circular head that moves a quarter turn in one direction and then back a quarter turn.)
“These results show that many people may be wasting money on toothbrushes they believe will clean their teeth better, when actually a much cheaper traditional brush would do the job just as well,” Prof. Peter Robinson said in a statement released with the study.
His team looked at trials that assessed how well various brushes removed dental plaque — a gooey mix of bacteria and detritus — which can cause gingivitis, an early form of gum disease that undermines teeth.
There are a wide range of electric brushes, including those that move bristles with ultrasound, and those that move side to side, or round and round — and those of the rotating-oscillating variety.
Compared with manual toothbrushes, the rotating-oscillating gadgets removed 11-per-cent more plaque and cut gingivitis by a further 17 per cent after three months of use, according to the study in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Prof. Robinson said the other electric gadgets don’t do any harm. “However, if [people] bought an electric toothbrush to get their teeth as clean as possible, then it is worth investing in a brush with a rotating-oscillating head.”
Other experts also recommend regular flossing, rinsing with an antibacterial mouth wash and periodic trips to a dentist’s office for a professional cleaning.
So, what is the truth of the matter – BRUSH YOUR TEETH, FLOSS THEM, WATER IRRIGATE THEM, USE ANTIBACTERIAL MOUTHRINSES AND SEE THE DENTIST AND HYGIENIST REGULARLY.
And forget about worrying about what type of toothbrush you use because it is simply one portion of dental hygiene and doesn’t really matter.
And to researchers….. you have better things to study – Heh!